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London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – Berlioz: La damnation de Faust (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle – Berlioz: La damnation de Faust (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:05:53 minutes | 2,44 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © LSO Live

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra mark 150 years since the death of Hector Berlioz with his tempestuous oratorio, La damnation de Faust.

La damnation de Faust is a work born of the composer’s obsession with Goethe’s legendary tale. Once a righteous scholar, Faust allows himself to be corrupted by the devil, and drags the innocent around him into desperation and death. It’s a fable that defies definition – both a tragedy and dark comedy, with a central character both wise and despicable, and a play and epic poem in one.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Conclusion of the Sibelius cycle with Simon Rattle 2015 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

In his Fifth Symphony, which ends with a grandiose song of nature, Sibelius again applied himself to the “big tone” in the traditional heroic key: E flat major. The work ends with a highly effective finale, in essence based on a figure in the winds that the composer himself designated a “swan hymn”: “Today at ten to eleven I saw 16 swans. One of my greatest experiences! The Fifth Symphony’s Finale-theme: Legato in the trumpets!!”

Sibelius’s Sixth, in contrast, which largely dispenses with the otherwise typical rhapsodic discontinuities and contradictions and also has markedly concertante characteristics, lives from a never-ending flow of the melodic figures, set out in front of listeners in filigree, polyphonic curved lines. The music of a romantic impetus is enhanced in the Finale “in a dark orchestral roar in which the main theme drowns” (Sibelius), before a melancholy string movement leads to the conclusion.

How much Sibelius had departed in his symphonic works from the traditional canon of forms can last be heard in his one-movement Seventh Symphony, premiered as Fantasia sinfonica, which Simon Rattle performs directly following the Sixth: starting from an adagio tone in the strings reminiscent of Mahler, the music progresses through many stages to a fateful climax, before a Largamente conclusion again takes up the plaintive character of the beginning. This performance of Symphomies Nos. 5, 6 and 7 concluded Sir Simon Rattle’s Sibelius cycle with the Philharmoniker from 2015.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/20353

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Simon Rattle conducts Bruckner’s Ninth and Schreker’s Chamber Symphony (2008) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Anton Bruckner did not quite reach the – since Beethoven – magical boundary of nine completed symphonies. For him as well, the Ninth, which, like Beethoven’s, is in D minor, was to remain his last symphony; despite a complete outline and extensive sketch material, the composer was nevertheless unable to finish the Finale. Thus, Bruckner’s symphonic legacy, which he dedicated to the “beloved God”, contrary to every tradition ended with a slow movement – and in the “wrong” key of E major.

Although the work complies with the strict thematic and dramaturgical architecture we know from the composer’s earlier symphonies, at the same time the far more radical and, in passages, shockingly dissonant harmony seems to fling the door to modernism wide open. Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker performed the symphony in September 2008 in the three-movement version, before presenting a completed version of the last movement, reconstructed from the sketches, in 2012.

Whereas Anton Bruckner suffered from a lack of public recognition all his life and was not acknowledged as one of the most important composers until after his death, the situation of his Austrian countryman Franz Schreker was just the opposite. After the phenomenal success of his operas, in particular, he was almost completely forgotten when the National Socialists came to power. Deprived of his positions by the new regime, the composer died in Berlin in 1934. Not until the 1970s did a Schreker renaissance begin, which led to a rediscovery of both his operas and instrumental works.

The Chamber Symphony, which was composed in 1916 for an anniversary of the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts, shows Schreker at the height of his seductively dazzling artistry. As a master of transition, the composer lets his thematic inspirations develop from each other metamorphically. The traditional sequence of movements is still recognizable, but flows together in a single stream of sound. Simon Rattle conducts the work with the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/23

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Simon Rattle conducts Brahms’s Symphonies No. 3 and 4 (2008) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

As difficult as it was for Johannes Brahms on his path to the symphony, overshadowed by the giant Beethoven, after his C minor debut in this genre was presented to the public in 1876 the spell seemed to be broken. The Second Symphony already appeared during the following year, and Nos. 3 and 4 were also premiered in comparatively quick succession in 1883 and 1885. After that, Brahms composed only one more work for large orchestra, his Double Concerto for Violin and Cello.

Thus, it is quite possible that the composer deliberately ended his symphonic work with the Fourth Symphony in E minor. His historical retrospection in the fourth movement, which takes up the Baroque model of the passacaglia, also suggests this. The unusually dense and intellectual conception initially caused the composer himself to doubt that it would find success with the public. With his characteristic odd self-irony he wrote to his close friend Elisabeth von Herzogenberg: “In general my pieces are unfortunately more agreeable than I am, and one finds less in them to correct?! But in these parts the cherries do not become sweet and edible – so if the thing doesn’t taste good to you, don’t bother yourself about it.” Posterity did not confirm the composer’s scepticism – the Fourth Symphony has long been one of the most popular compositions in the concert repertoire.

During their in-depth exploration of Brahms, in this concert from November 2008 Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker played the composer’s Fourth Symphony before the Third. In his Third Symphony Brahms achieves the unity between movements that was considered obligatory since Beethoven’s Ninth by, among other things, bringing the opening motif of the first movement back at the end of the finale. The theme of the Poco allegretto achieved a certain prominence in popular culture: it not only served as the theme music in the Ingrid Bergman film Goodbye Again but was also quoted extensively in Carlos Santana’s song Love of My Life.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/22

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff and Simon Rattle 2015 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Christian Tetzlaff is acclaimed by the press as a “master violinist” who “loses himself in the compositions, who completely immerses himself, to emerge unpretentiously on the other side,” someone who is able to combine “dazzling technique and analytical acuity with overwhelming musicianship and a healthy dose of wit,” as a virtuoso who produces a “beauty and richness, variety and colourfulness of sound” from his instrument that is “simply amazing”. In the 2014/2015 season, the Berliner Philharmoniker were delighted to have the extraordinary musician Christian Tetzlaff as their Artist in Residence.

The musical high point of Christian Tetzlaff’s artistic partnership with the orchestra was undoubtedly his performance of Johannes Brahms’s Violin Concerto, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The second half of the concert included Images by Claude Debussy, inspired by folk melodies from England, Spain and France, an orchestral triptych iridescent in every conceivable instrumental colour. The programme concluded with George Enescu’s First Romanian Rhapsody, inspired by the folklore of his homeland, a vibrant, instrumentally colourful piece that finishes with a furious stretta.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/20447

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Berliner Philharmoniker – A Brahms evening with Sir Simon Rattle and Lars Vogt (2008) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Johannes Brahms’s works have been part of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s core repertoire since the orchestra’s founding. In 1884, the composer himself appeared as soloist in the First Piano Concerto and conducted his Third Symphony with the ensemble, at that time still under the name “Philharmonisches Orchester”. Like his predecessors Hans von Bülow, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, as chief conductor of the Philharmoniker Sir Simon Rattle has also regularly programmed the composer’s symphonies and orchestral works. The first recorded cycle was released on CD in 2009, followed in 2016 by a second on vinyl, recorded in the sensational direct-to-disc process.

As part of the season focus on Brahms, both the Second Symphony and the First Piano Concerto were presented in November 2008. With the concerto, Brahms celebrated his debut as the composer of a large orchestral work relatively late, in 1859. A difficult and circuitous compositional process had preceded it. Initially planned as a sonata for two pianos, the material was to be reworked as a symphony before it acquired its final form. The composer, who was still inexperienced in the art of orchestration, asked his friend Joseph Joachim for advice several times. This period of his life was marked by the illness and death of Robert Schumann and Brahms’s deepening friendship with Schumann’s wife Clara.

Although the premiere in Leipzig, with Brahms at the piano, was a failure, the music world was quickly convinced that the composer had produced one of the most important, “most symphonic” works of the genre. The soloist in this performance was Lars Vogt, with whom the Berliner Philharmoniker have worked closely for many years and who served as the orchestra’s Pianist in Residence during the 2003/2004 season.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/13

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Simon Rattle conducts the first live concert of the Digital Concert Hall (2009) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

With this concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle celebrated the first live broadcast from the Digital Concert Hall on 6 January 2009. Since then, audiences have been able to enjoy nearly all of the orchestra’s Berlin programmes live on the Internet. After the broadcast, the concerts are made available to the public permanently in the platform archive; older recordings with previous chief conductors Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, numerous interviews and documentary films may also be accessed in the archive.

Both the occasion and the programme of the special concert reflect a beginning. Not until he reached the comparatively advanced age of 43 did Johannes Brahms present his First Symphony to the public in 1876. Like composers before and after him, the example of Beethoven in this genre seemed overwhelming to Brahms; more than fourteen years of hard work preceded the publication of the symphony.

The conductor and orchestra played a Slavonic Dance by Antonín Dvořák as impressive opening music; in addition, the English journalist Terry Martin conducted interviews with Sir Simon Rattle and the principal cellist of the Philharmoniker, Olaf Maninger, who is also a member of the Media Board and one of the initiators of the Digital Concert Hall. Jürgen Fitschen was also present as a representative of the Deutsche Bank, whose financial support made the Berliner Philharmoniker’s exciting journey to a new media future possible.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/50

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Brahms, Shostakovich – Rattle 2008 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

There is almost always nothing but orchestral music, without guest soloists, when the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle return from the summer break. That was also the case with this concert for the opening of the 2008/2009 season, when Johannes Brahms’s Third and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, two of the most different works imaginable, were on the programme.

Brahms’s Third, the shortest of his symphonies, was a bit overshadowed by the composer’s other works in this genre. From the very beginning, however, it was not only admired but even loved by connoisseurs. Clara Schumann commented that one is “surrounded from beginning to end by the mysterious magic of life in the forest”. Brahms’s composer colleague and friend Antonín Dvořák wrote to his publisher Simrock: “It is love pure and simple, and on hearing it your heart overflows.” But this music also has much to offer in terms of compositional techniques, for example, the skilfully created tension between F minor and F major, which is one of the signature characteristics of the work.

Brahms’s Symphony is followed by Shostakovich’s Tenth, a composition that begins darkly, becomes increasingly aggressive and only near the end, gently optimistic. Like almost all the Russian composer’s works, the symphony is closely connected with contemporary history. In his autobiography Shostakovich wrote: “The second movement, the Scherzo, is a musical portrait of Stalin, roughly speaking. Of course, there are many other things in it, but that’s the basis.” It is telling that the Tenth was premiered the year the Soviet dictator died, after a period of several years in which the composer produced no symphonies. It is the only work by Shostakovich that Herbert von Karajan conducted frequently – including in Moscow in 1969, in the presence of the deeply moved composer.

This recording from August 2008 is the first made by the Digital Concert Hall team. Other recordings followed until the first live broadcast in January 2009.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/38

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Brahms, Dvorak – Rattle 2009 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

With this concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle celebrated the first live broadcast from the Digital Concert Hall on 6 January 2009. Since then, audiences have been able to enjoy nearly all of the orchestra’s Berlin programmes live on the Internet. After the broadcast, the concerts are made available to the public permanently in the platform archive; older recordings with previous chief conductors Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, numerous interviews and documentary films may also be accessed in the archive.

Both the occasion and the programme of the special concert reflect a beginning. Not until he reached the comparatively advanced age of 43 did Johannes Brahms present his First Symphony to the public in 1876. Like composers before and after him, the example of Beethoven in this genre seemed overwhelming to Brahms; more than fourteen years of hard work preceded the publication of the symphony.

The conductor and orchestra played a Slavonic Dance by Antonín Dvořák as impressive opening music; in addition, the English journalist Terry Martin conducted interviews with Sir Simon Rattle and the principal cellist of the Philharmoniker, Olaf Maninger, who is also a member of the Media Board and one of the initiators of the Digital Concert Hall. Jürgen Fitschen was also present as a representative of the Deutsche Bank, whose financial support made the Berliner Philharmoniker’s exciting journey to a new media future possible.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/50

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique – Rattle 2009 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Many music lovers will remember the dramatic circumstances the last time Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. After welding work had set fire to the roof of the Philharmonie, resulting in its temporary closure, a hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport was used as an alternative venue. Despite the unfavourable conditions, it was a thrilling interpretation. The Berliner Zeitung wrote: “Even given the acoustic difficulties of the hangar, it became clear how much the Symphonie fantastique suits Rattle, how he not only gets to the heart of its more bizarre aspects but also manages to combine them.” It will be all the more exciting to experience this interpretation with the acoustics in the Philharmonie. This opening concert of the 2009/10 season starts, however, with two other works. First, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – a sequence of virtuoso variations based on a rondo by Purcell, which gives the different sections of the orchestra the opportunity to shine. And a première, with a work by Kaija Saariaho, promisingly entitled Laterna Magica, which brings together two themes central to this Finnish composer’s œuvre: the creation of magical moments and the rendering of light audible.

https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/243

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